It's the year of the rattan rocking horse

GEORGE TOWN - Rocking horses made from rattan are set to sell like hot cakes with the Year of the Horse around the corner.

Rattan shop proprietor Sim Chew Poh said he recently stocked up 20 units of the handmade toy at his shop, Seang Hin Leong in Beach Street, as the items would be sold out within weeks with Chinese New Year coming up.

The shop also sells handmade craft including baskets and decorative products.

"Some parents have come specifically for the rattan rocking horse because their plastic ones at home need to be replaced.

"The selling point is the rattan, which lasts longer and can be repaired when the joints become loose.

"It is cheaper, too," he said, adding that the prices ranged between RM79 and RM99.

Sim said the sales of rattan horses exceeded a hundred units annually and were also popular at other outlets as they came in a variety of designs.

He explained that it takes at least three hours to make a rattan rocking horse.

Sim's father, rattan weaver Buck Teik, 83, said the family first started crafting rattan and bamboo items some five decades ago.

"We make it a point to ensure that our merchandise caters to the demands of our clients.

"This year, I think the horse-shaped rocking chair will be the main attraction because it's the Year of the Horse," he said.

Buck Teik, who was presented with the Living Heritage Treasures of Penang Awards 2013 in July 8 last year, said the rattan rocking chairs sold in their shop were made by weavers from Nibong Tebal and Jawi.